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PREMIERE: A colorful video for “What Are We Waiting For” by Mike and Ruthy Band

 

The Mike + Ruthy Band | Photo by Eric Gerard
The Mike and Ruthy Band | Photo by Eric Gerard

The Mike and Ruthy Band are a pair dedicated to honoring the heart of folk and Americana. They met as struggling artists in New York City after graduating college and have been creating music ever since, first in The Mammals and currently in their own project.. Their latest full-length release, Bright As You Can, features songs centered on their family- and community-centric mission, and the single “What Are We Waiting For” is no exception. The song is an upbeat summery “anthem,” as Ruthy puts it, perfect for jamming whilst on the open road. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: D’Angelo at The Keswick Theater, Flounder Warehouse at Bourbon and Branch, Stranger Cat at Boot and Saddle and more

D'Angelo | Photo via facebook.com/dangelo
D’Angelo | Photo via facebook.com/dangelo

Modern funk / soul great D’Angelo brings his critically-acclaimed Black Messiah album to the Keswick Theatre tonight. The Second Coming tour features D’Angelo’s band The Vanguard, a star-studded roster of music industry vets: bassist Pino Palladino (who’s played with The Who), guitarists Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey, drummer Chris “Daddy” Dave, keyboardist Cleo “Pookie” Sample and vocalists Kendra Foster (of George Clinton’s P-Funk), Charlie “Red” Middleton and Jermain Holmes. Anchoring the group is D’Angelo on guitar, keyboards and vocals. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Christopher Brooks releases debut album with members of Hop Along

Christopher Brooks self-titled | via https://christopherbrooks.bandcamp.com/releases
Christopher Brooks self-titled | via https://christopherbrooks.bandcamp.com/releases

Singer-songwriter Christopher Brooks (of the Wayfairs and Conversations with Enemies) is releasing his self-titled debut album on Monday, June 16. For his debut, Brooks brought together a collection of local artists, including Frances Quinlan, Mark Quinlan, and Joe Reinhart of Hop Along, as well as Alex Smith of Cold Fronts. It was recorded at Headroom Studios in Fishtown with Joe Reinhart and Kyle Pulley and mastered by Ryan Schwabe. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gene Ween does Billy Joel at Underground Arts, Port Arthur at Bourbon and Branch, Fine Motor at Boot and Saddle and more

via facebook.com/UndergroundArtsPhilly
via facebook.com/UndergroundArtsPhilly

This spring, Aaron Freeman resurrected his Gene Ween moniker for a series of tribute shows to piano man Billy Joel. He kicked it off in Woodstock, played Brooklyn Bowl last night and brings the show to Underground Arts tonight. According to a report on Jambase, the setlist reads like a Billy Joel greatest hits box set, and the Gener’s approach seems to on point and sincere – even on the softer, sensitive moments like “She’s Always A Woman,” that would be easy to skewer with irony. Nope, he’s clearly a devotee, meaning tonight’s show has great potential for a massive singalong love fest. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: The Burgeoning

The Burgeoning | Photo by Brant Fuller
The Burgeoning | Photo by Brant Fuller

Philly four-piece The Burgeoning has one leg firmly planted in the indie-dance nightclubs of the Making Time set, while the other one reaches ambitiously for the poppy world of arena rock. The band caught our ear last year with their debut single “Lighthouse” and a solid sonic recipe: tight playing, unique arrangements and big, big hooks. Quick points of reference would be Real Estate and Bastille. Since releasing their Love Alchemy, Life Algorithm EP, the band has been going hard on the Philly live music circuit, honing their craft, sharpening their form and whipping up an on-point cover of “Message In a Bottle” by The Police.

The cover appears in the band’s Key Studio Session, and as you’ll hear, it’s practically custom designed for frontman Logan Thierjung’s elastic voice. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cassavetes’ “lost” Key Studio Session, see them at Bourbon and Branch

Philadelphia punk four-piece Cassavetes is parting ways, but not before one final acoustic appearance at Bourbon and Branch. The band, centered around the songwriting of Josh Agran (who’s also played in Paint It Black, Pet Milk and Nothing in the past) released its Oh So Long LP last summer and, as I said at the time, its Fugazi influences shined through as much as its reverence for 90s rock like Soundgarden.

Cassavetes is composed of Agran on guitar and lead vocals, Patrick McCunney (of Kill the Man Questions) on guitar, Jonathan Murphy (of Sore Saints) on drums and Chris Sigda (of Likers) on bass, and back in the winter, the band came into XPN studios to record a set that mixed old songs and new, electric songs and acoustic. The set sounded great – the electric songs packed a massive punch, while the acoustic selections simmered just as intensely – but the band’s show calendar was, at that point, empty. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Caroline Rose at World Cafe Live, Cold Roses at Bourbon and Branch, Two Gallants at Johnny Brenda

Caroline Rose | Photo by John Vettese
Caroline Rose | Photo by John Vettese

After making a splash in 2013 with her pop-and-country infused album America Religious, New Jersey’s Caroline Rose returned last fall with an album that expanded her sound into realms of gospel and blues with I Will Not Be Afraid. Tonight she plays World Cafe Live opening for Pokey La Farge. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
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Tonight’s (non-#KeyFest) Concert Picks: Lithuania at Bourbon and Branch, Song Dogs at Franky Bradley’s, Feelies at World Cafe Live and more

Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Okay, it’s night three, and by now you know the drill: #KeyFest is happening, and we obviously want you all to come there – it’s a great cross-section of the Philly R&B and hip-hop scene. But, you know, there are other shows too. And you should know about them as well. Dom Angelella and Eric Slick’s band Lithuania hits up Bourbon and Branch tonight for the last week of Suburban Living’s April residency. Their ten-years-in-the-making debut LP Hardcore Friends is coming out this summer on Lame-O Records, and it finds the duo at its most polished and rockingist. Read my interview with Slick and Angelella here and get more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s (Non-#KeyFest) Concert Picks: Creepoid at Underground Arts, Cheerleader at Union Transfer, The Burgeoning at Bourbon and Branch

Creepoid | Photo by John Vettese

Okay, so Key Fest kicks off tonight, and that’s obviously the concert we’re most pumped about and think you should all go to. But we’ve been telling you about that all week – here are a few other live music options worth your attention, beginning with Creepoid‘s homecoming at Underground Arts. The band is moving back to Philly after spending the past year or so living in Savannah and writing their new record. Their new Cemetery Highrise Slum, is out on June 23rd via Collect Records, and the songs we’ve heard from it slay. Listen to “American Smile” below and get tickets and more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →